This movie that takes you back through your childhood (if you’re in your forties or fifties, that is) gets a solid 4 Icees. When you have a movie that makes you smile throughout, you almost have to give it a great rating. Such is the case with this nostalgic trip through time.
So there’s this nostalgic flood of references, which isn’t put in to just feel good, but as an actual part of the plot. Not to give out a spoiler (because I pride myself on not doing that), but the Oasis is a flood of 80’s references because the designer of it wanted it to be that way. I found myself calling out (in my mind of course, because to do so out loud in the theater would be rude) each of the things I would see, whether it be the Delorian from Back To The Future, the maze from The Shining, the Martian from the Bugs Bunny cartoons, or any of the myriad of other 80’s references.
Speaking of the designer of the Oasis, Mark Rylance (Dunkirk, Bridge of Spies) does a great job of playing Halliday, portraying an odd, unique character. Although he is not the “star” of the movie, he gave the performance that I will probably remember most. As far as the primary stars of the movie, I thought that both Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke gave really good performances as Parzival and Art3mis respectively. I know that they have been in other things, but nothing that I could actually remember seeing them in, so for me this was their coming-out party… and they did it well !
Although for me, the star of the movie wasn’t even in it. It was Steven Spielberg, who has delivered another great story. First and foremost, it is the story being told that takes the spotlight. The way the movie depicts the dim state of our not-too-distant future, the way a video game could take over our lives, and the visualization of “The Stacks” was exquisite. I understand that this movie was based on a 2011 science fiction book written by Ernest Cline (which of course I never read), but the way that it is brought to life is pure Spielbergian (is that a word?).
Is it reality-based? Of course not, but I could easily see that if the Oasis video game were real, it would engulf the world like no game before it, not even World of Warcraft or Pokemon Go. I could see where it would be a place of escape that most (if not all) of humanity would go to in order to get away from daily life.
There is some mild language and a frightening scene or two, but overall it is a fun, enjoyable movie that anyone 13 and over (it is PG-13 after all) should enjoy.
There is no scene before or after the credits.